Biodegradation of the implanted bone substitute materials is an essential factor to determine the amount of newly formed bone. It is considered that one of ideal properties in the biomaterials is to have a biodegradation rate that coincides with the rate of new bone formation by osteoblasts. The purpose of the present article is to review on the biodegradation on one of calcium phosphate ceramics, octacalcium phosphate (OCP), and OCP-based polymer composites, such as OCP/alginate, we developed. OCP is more soluble than typical biodegradable β -tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) ceramic but less soluble than dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD), a raw material used to form apatite cements. It has been shown that if OCP crystals are homogenously dispersed in the polymer matrices, then the composites enhance bone formation coupled with osteoclastic resorption of OCP crystals dispersed. The mechanism of the OCP biodegradation will be discussed.
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